Red Dirt Diaries: Wil's Warriors
DEL CITY, Oklahoma - Fitting in at school can be hard for kids. But, it’s made a lot easier when you suddenly get rockstar status.
At Epperly Heights Elementary in Del City, he’s a guy that just grabs your heart.
Principal Kevin Hill isn't afraid to admit something that maybe he shouldn't.
“You are not allowed to have favorites but he's one of my favorites at Epperly Heights,” said Principal Hill.
He is 12-year-old Wil Panksley.
“My child is the most lovely adoring child I’ve ever met in my life,” said Will’s Mom, Taryn Wilson. “He’s one of eight (16th Chromosome Trisomy) in the world.”
Doctors may have a long name for his condition but at school, they just know Wil has an extremely big heart.
“He can look into your soul and it’s like he speaks to you,” said Principal Hill.
Recently, Epperly Heights wanted to say something back to Wil through the noise of coins tossed in a coffee can. The money will help Wil's family.
The 12-year-old is set to undergo another major surgery; this one will eventually improve his walking.
“It’s amazing what kids will do these days,” said Kristen Treat, school nurse.
Turns out, students have never been more excited to dive between couch cushions.
“They had so much change in their pockets that their pants were sagging,” continued Treat.
“We are a school of poverty; I’d say we got a 90% rate of free and reduced lunch. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give and love – that’s the lesson learned,” said Principal Hill.
All totaled, the Wil Warrior challenge raised more than a $1,000.
“Everyone knows Wil and wants to give him a hug,” said Principal Hill.
He’s like a superstar!
To his mom the compassion shown is more than a drop in the bucket.
“I can't fathom into words. I can't. How it can affect these small children and the difference they can make in one child’s life,” said Taryn.